UC San Diego News Center


UC San Diego Crisis Guru Phillip Van Saun to Speak June 20 at Geisel Library

Phillip Van Saun, director of Continuity and Emergency Services at the University of California, San Diego, will discuss and sign copies of his new book, Failure is an Option: A Primer and Guide for Managing Crises, at a talk from 3 to 4 p.m., June 20, 2012, in the Seuss Room in Geisel Library. The talk, which is sponsored by the UC San Diego Libraries’ Safety & Security team, is free and open to the public and will include light refreshments.

In his book, published in April 2012, Van Saun provides guidance on: how to recognize and respond to the red flags of a crisis-prone culture; how to make incremental changes to mitigate the potential for a slow-burning problem to develop into a full-blown crisis; and how to apply the ‘battle-tested’ crisis management needs assessments, checklists, communication plans, talking-points, and crisis and continuity plans described in his book. 

As director of Continuity and Emergency Services at the UC San Diego, Van Saun serves as a member of the university’s Emergency Policy Group and co-chairs the campus pandemic and epidemic response committee and behavioral threat assessment and management team.

He is a graduate and former instructor of the National Inter Agency Crisis Communications program and the White House Military Office’s executive support program. Van Saun has worked in the crisis management field since 1987, when he was assigned as a Marine to the White House emergency response mission as a member of Marine One—the Presidential Helicopter Squadron. Following military service, he served as a consultant to the White House Military Office providing emergency response training to White House support personnel.  In 1990, he was awarded the Presidential Service Award by President George H. W. Bush for his service to the White House. Van Saun holds a Master of Arts degree, summa cum laude, in communication from Trinity International University and completed the executive seminar in crisis management at Harvard University.

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